W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > July to September 2005

RE: bidi discussion list was: Bidi Markup vs Unicode control characters

From: Addison Phillips <addison.phillips@quest.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2005 14:24:29 -0700
Message-ID: <634978A7DF025A40BFEF33EB191E13BC0C67901C@irvmbxw01.quest.com>
To: <www-international@w3.org>
Cc: "Richard Ishida" <ishida@w3.org>

I will note that this is specifically the mission of W3C I18N GEO WG. Providing FAQ information on topics such as best practices with bidi, etc., are a great help to the community at large---much greater than having our comments fossilized in mail list archives. I would suggest that, instead of writing very long threads here (or anywhere else), the next step would be to work on specific text for a FAQ. A debate about that text would produce more concrete results (and be easier to gain an understanding of) than having to trace threads through the archive... and it would mark a more permanent reference.

There are some specific cases (this is one) in which the I18N Core WG needs to form a kind of coherent policy for W3C specifications and their implementation. Non-implementation of internationalization related features is a serious problem for global accessibility of the Web and the I18N WGs face the "lack of implementation" argument as a justification to include "less-and-less" more-and-more frequently.

In this particular case, I note that the W3C and Unicode have documented for some time the preference of markup over control codes, with reasons why, in Unicode Technical Report #20, Section 3.3:


As Tex notes, this may not be a comprehensive solution to every issue, since it is a general document, rather than a specific one. I feel that it is specific enough as a guideline to specification writers and implementers of specification. Making guidelines for specific cases will be easier if done in a FAQ-like way rather than trying to write a single comprehensive document, in my opinion. And a summary overview would also be useful in that context as well.

Best Regards,


Addison P. Phillips
Globalization Architect, Quest Software
Chair, W3C Internationalization Core Working Group

Internationalization is not a feature.
It is an architecture. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-international-request@w3.org [mailto:www-international-
> request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Tex Texin
> Sent: 2005?8?8? 13:14
> To: Sandra Bostian
> Cc: www-international@w3.org
> Subject: bidi discussion list was: Bidi Markup vs Unicode control
> characters
> Sandra, yes of course. I am not suggesting CSS be made a requirement for
> bidi. Only that it should be acceptable and considered best practice in
> the right context.
> At the time the standard was written, I took the warning that bidi css
> may be ignored by user agents to be a reflection of the state of the art
> at the time, since most browsers were not able to support bidi with or
> without css.
> It had not occurred to me that people were interpreting it to mean that
> css implementers would intentionally choose not to support it or that
> W3C was endorsing such a view. That would be counter to goals for
> internationalization and making the web accessible to all.
> (I will have to look around, but I am hard pressed to think of another
> instance where the fact that a feature is optional became a
> recommendation to not use it. Heck, there are many required features not
> implemented or incompletely implemented and we don't offer the same
> advice.)
> *****
> A few people have remarked about their interest in the subject. Would it
> make sense to create a discussion list, perhaps the I18n WG would
> host/moderate, specific to topics of best practices with bidi on the
> web. I would like to see the use cases identified (eg. your gov't
> requirements, needs of multilingual web sites, templating, css users,
> etc.) and develop solutions within the existing framework, and possibly
> make requests for enhancements of the standards.
> We could carry on here, but I am not sure the overall community wants
> that much commentary on the subject, and also posting to a large list
> might intimidate some from posting.
> *****
> tex
> Sandra Bostian wrote:
> >
> > For US government agencies, though, this is a section 508 requirement.
> Your documents must be coherent without the css. And most browsers will
> let you turn off style sheets and use your own (often used by those with
> visual disabilities). This may be a case of know your requirements and who
> your audience is, but certain sectors either can't or should be highly
> wary of relying solely on css.
> >
> > Thank you all for this discussion, by the way. We are looking at a new
> project using Arabic and this has been highly helpful in clarifying some
> of the issues.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Sandy
> >
> > Sandy Bostian
> > Digital Conversion Specialist
> > Library of Congress
> > Meeting of Frontiers: http://frontiers.loc.gov
> > 202-707-2342
> > sbos@loc.gov
> >
> > >>> Tex Texin <tex@xencraft.com> 08/07/05 6:08 PM >>>
> >
> > It is not clear to me that we need to insist on the document being
> > coherent without css.
> --
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex@XenCraft.com
> Xen Master                          http://www.i18nGuy.com
> XenCraft		            http://www.XenCraft.com
> Making e-Business Work Around the World
> -------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Monday, 8 August 2005 21:24:38 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 21 September 2016 22:37:25 UTC